Lent is a new concept for me. I have heard people talk about lent in the past, but never gave it much thought. This year after reading more about Lent I decided to participate.
What is Lent? Lent always starts on Wednesday, 40 days before Easter. The true focus on Lent is giving something up to grow closer to the Lord. It is a time of prayer, fasting, and simple living.
There are many things that people give up for lent. Some examples are: chocolate, alcohol, sweets, entertainment, hobbies, (fill in your own). Giving up any one of these things is great and helpful to the body, but how profitable is it? If we give up an item without the time of prayer/fasting than what does it profit spiritually?
Instead, if we give up something as sacrifice to God then we can identify with, in some very small way, Christ giving up His life for us. Each time we sacrifice by running to Him in prayer or reading His Word, we have the opportunity to be filled to where our cup runs over. In reality, it is no sacrifice at all, because we gain something so much greater in return. This only happens if we replace the thing we are giving up with Christ. There is no doubt we will replace it with something, it just needs to be the right thing.
What am I giving up? I am choosing something that will cause me the most sacrifice and require me to run straight to the Lord: Food. I am not going to eat any sweets or drink any coffee for the next 40 days. I also will not be spending money on anything but necessities.
To do these things just to do them would be useless for me. My hearts desire is to grow more and more in love with Christ. I want to deepen my relationship with Him in such a way I never want for anything but Him.
Are you participating in Lent?